About SPNA

The Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA) is the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment.

SPNA members meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Senior Renaissance Center of Cohn Adult Learning Center at 4805 Park Avenue.

About Sylvan Park

Welcome to Sylvan Park! We hope you love this neighborhood as much as we do. Here are some helpful answers to commonly asked questions from newcomers.

What, exactly, is Sylvan Park?
The boundaries of the growing Nashville neighborhood are Charlotte Ave. to the north, Richland Creek to the west, railroad tracks to the south and east. Here is a Google map of the Sylvan Park neighborhood (zoom in for more detail).

Why do Sylvan Park residents love living here?
Here are just a few reasons.

  • Sylvan Park's many restaurants and businesses, within walking distance.

  • The newly-built McCabe Park Community Center, which offers patrons of all ages a modern and friendly place to exercise or spend leisure time, in a beautiful park setting; it also offers a variety of fitness classes and a full-service fitness center.

  • Richland Park Branch Library offers many programs for all ages, right in the neighborhood.

  • Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center is a well-regarded public elementary school with an active PTO.

  • Many Nashville Community Education classes take place at the Cohn School.

  • The popular Richland Park Farmer’s Market is on Saturday mornings in Richland Park.

  • Speaking of parks, the neighborhood has two of them - Richland Park and McCabe Park.

  • The Richland Creek Greenway is a 3.8 mile paved, looped path in our neighborhood, connecting McCabe Park and the Sylvan Park neighborhood with shopping centers along White Bridge Pike and Harding Road, and Nashville State Community College.

  • The McCabe Golf Course is a 27-hole golf course and practice facility that has been voted best place to play by Nashville Scene Magazine.

  • There are many opportunities to meet and socialize with your neighbors (see some links below for many active community organizations).

What should I do when I move here?

  • Join Nextdoor! :) Our neighborhood has an extremely active online community on Nextdoor, a private social network where neighbors can buy/sell goods, get business recommendations and experiences, share news and emergency alerts, and so much more. There are also lots of Facebook pages for neighborhood groups, including (but not limited to): SPNA, Sylvan Park Moms' Club, Sylvan Park PTO, Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy, the SPURS Running Club, Richland Creek Watershed Alliance, Friends of Richland Park Branch Library, tons of local restaurants and businesses, and so many more.

  • Join the Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA). Since 1984, SPNA has been the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment. We sponsor a variety of social events throughout the year including a family movie night, annual golf tournament, a 4th of July parade, Night Out Against Crime, and a holiday party with caroling. There is also an informative quarterly neighborhood SPNA newsletter.

  • Sign up for Kathleen Murphy's email newsletter. Our councilwoman's updates contain helpful information and important links and events for Nashville's District 24, where our neighborhood is located. Her email is kathleen.murphy@nashville.gov if you need to reach her directly.

  • Explore the neighborhood! With all the nearby restaurants and places to go for recreation, the hard thing will be deciding what to do first, and which are your favorites!

What is the history of Sylvan Park?
Sylvan Park was established in 1887 and our neighborhood continues to evolve. Sylvan Park has a fascinating history, chronicled in “Nashville’s Sylvan Park,” by Yvonne Eaves and Doug Eckert (available through the Nashville Public Library system).

Who should I contact if...

  • I see something suspicious or concerning, but not necessarily criminal? Call the police nonemergency number at 615-862-8600.

  • I notice a problem with a city service or codes issue? You can submit a public works request here, or file a codes complaint here. Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy is a great resource for this, but you can also find a lot of information on the Nashville Metro web site 24 hours a day.

  • I have some other really, really random question? Nextdoor is about to be your best friend.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Produce Place: 25 Years and Counting

The Produce Place hosts a customer appreciation day on Saturday, July 13th
When I stopped by the Produce Place on Saturday, owner Barry Burnette was in his element. Burnette was tending to sliders on the grill and expertly rotating fresh corn, all while doing what he loves most: talking produce and talking to his customers. Downing Cattle Company from Kentucky supplied the beef, and the corn came from Springfield, Tennessee, picked less than twenty-four hours earlier.

What started as a dream and the simple idea of bringing the taste of fresh food to the masses, culminated in a 25-year anniversary celebration for Produce Place on Saturday. Burnette and his staff threw a customer appreciation party by grilling out in the parking lot and discounting some of their produce.

“I feel fortunate and proud about the staff that we’ve had so long,” reflected Burnette, looking out over the packed parking lot in front of the store entrance. “Our key staff has been with me for 21 years, between four of them, almost 100 years. I’m very proud of that. I tend to take bragging rights on that.”

Burnette credits a bit of fate for all of his success. When the building on the corner of 40th and Murphy Road finally went up for sale in the early ‘80s, Burnette was a day too late in making an offer. But, as luck would have it, Burnette knew the person who wanted to buy it.

“His wife told me he was down in Florida so I called him and we talked for a bit and I just asked him if he would let go of the contract and throw me a bone. He called me back in two days at the office and he said ‘I believe I’m going to throw you that bone.’”

Burnette wanted to keep the character of the old grocery
store, originally built in 1926, but did have to gut the downstairs portion (the upstairs still has original wallpaper) before officially opening for business.“Today, 25 years ago, it was raining when I came to work.
Our sign maker was behind on putting our sign up, so there wasn’t a sign up the day we opened and it was raining the first half of the day,” Burnette remembers. “I put an ad in the old-time Nashville Scene [for] ‘free lettuce.’ I thought I was going to give away 250. We gave away six, not 600, but six for the week.”It’s a story that makes Burnette laugh, especially since a long-time customer of Produce Place is one of the six people who came in that day for free lettuce. But Burnette says when they got a little blurb in the paper a few months later, business took off and hasn’t slowed down since.
Burnette talks with customers
Burnette credits the neighborhood (he’s lived in Sylvan Park since 1982), the fantastic customer base, his employees and local farmers for making the Produce Place what it is today and says he has no plans of changing pace.

“I’m still going to do it for a while. I love it. I really love doing it. Somebody asked me ‘What’s your recipe for longevity?’ I put love in it, I really do and so does our staff. They really enjoy their job and I really enjoy what I do.”

Even though the Produce Place has gone from one employee to twenty-three, Burnette says he still enjoys calling his customers by name. So next time you find yourself wandering through the aisles, taking in the sites and smells of our neighborhood grocery store, Burnette says he hopes customers will say hello.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:22 PM

    Love you Barry!! Even though I don't get to shop at the store or entertain my neighbors at Halloween or Christmas anymore, memories mean a lot. You are a special person. Bet you will know who this is without a name because I am still a fighter for Park Avenue and our Historic Richland Park. Stop by sometime....